A long time ago in a culture far, far away, a sophisticated system of knowledge — spanning the human body and mind, stars and planets, physical space, and more — was created by a people equipped with their five senses and the only computer around at the time: the human brain. “They outlined techniques that include body exercise, mind exercise, . . . and many other methods that are now proving to be some of the most integrated ways to leverage our human potential.” The Business Casual Yogi: Take Charge of Your Body, Mind, and Career (BCY), by Vish Chaterji* with Yogrishi Vishvketu, translates this Vedic system of knowledge (believed to have originated over five thousand years ago in the foothills of the Himalayas) into a “comprehensible and relevant” set of tools for modern leaders. It artfully combines expertise in modern business management with the teachings of yoga, Ayurveda, and Vedic philosophy.
Far from being mystical or religious, this is practical, straightforward uncommon common sense — an operating system user’s manual for well-being. And despite its title and emphasis on life-management for the business world, the book’s not just for the business-folk among us. It renders ancient wisdom accessible and usable for all of us.
A scientific system of self-exploration
The Sanskrit word veda simply means ”knowledge” or “understanding.” BCY explains, “Though the Vedic knowledge system originated in India, it predates the formal formation of India and any of the known religions of India . . . Religion [often] asks us to have faith, whereas the Vedic knowledge system asks us to question everything.”
While Vedic knowledge stretches from sophisticated urban planning to understanding the positions of stars and planets and their influence on the Earth, BCY draws on the scientific insights of self — “the integration of psychology, physiology, lifestyle, diet, and human interaction” to provide techniques to help us thrive.
Yoga beyond the mat
“Yoga comes from the same root as the English word, yoke, meaning, ‘to join or to form a union’ . . . [to] synchronize and align the mind, body, and spirit for the purpose of manifesting our full potential . . . a complete system designed to move you closer to who you truly are.”
BCY provides an understanding of the whole system of yoga. “While the fundamental tool in the system is meditation: the tool by which we gain deep insight and awareness into our fullest potential,” the system includes breath work, sound work, lifestyle choices, and movement.
Starting with an overview of the eight limbs of yoga, BCY then guides us through the goals and purpose of our lives, followed by a complete guide to breathing (“it’s tax free”), moving our bodies (yoga poses), meditation (the transcending tool), and sound exercises (chakras, mantras, and music). Reflection questions, assessments, and work plan templates are included to guide the journey.
Your nature: who are you?
“From the Sanskrit words ayus (“life”) and veda (“knowledge”)—or ‘knowledge of life’—Ayurveda is a body of knowledge that helps us identify our unique mental and physical natures and then apply personalized lifestyle principles specific to those natures. Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand. As yoga is a system of techniques and philosophies for the body and mind to unlock our potential, Ayurveda is the foundational system of healing and nutrition that takes care of the body and mind to maintain health or heal from illness.”
Before personality assessments like MBTI and DiSC, the ancient sages observed and classified doshas. The types go beyond personality to our mental and physical make-up, defining individual energies based on how the elements of nature show up in us. We are a mix of all three doshas, yet tend to favor one or two. BCY has a full description and quiz to help you identify your type. A thumbnail description of each type in balance is below:
Vata (air and space elements)
Vata types have lighter and thinner frames, delicate digestive systems and sleep patterns. They talk and move quickly, and are usually creative, lively, and enthusiastic. They dislike routine, like change, are flexible and adaptable, good multi-taskers, and can get easily distracted. Their resumes often show frequent job changes.
Pitta (fire and water elements)
Pittas are of medium build, enjoy strong digestion, and solid, regular sleep patterns. They are fond of routines and are good at getting things done. They are warm, friendly, precise and organized. A pitta resume is usually packed with responsibilities and accomplishments.
Kapha (earth and water elements)
Kaphas have a larger overall frame, sleep deeply, and have regular digestion. They are the most grounded and stable of the types — solid, dependable, easygoing, thoughtful, good listeners, loyal, and supportive. Kapha resumes usually have longer stints at a few jobs.
Understanding our dosha type helps us make choices to live in balance. We each have different needs for what we eat, when we eat, our sleep patterns, maximizing our energy cycles, and the routines of our lives. BCY provides a practical Ayurvedic roadmap to adopt practices that match our unique energies.
Be a yogi scientist
This isn’t a book you read, it’s a book you do — a “how to” for our mind, body, and spirit. Each chapter stands alone — if you want to jump to meditation or Ayurveda, go for it. I recommend you give it a read-through to get a sense of the flow and content, take inventory for yourself, then pick and choose what’s most important for you.
Vish and Vishvketu close with, “Above all, live with a clear sense of purpose, honor the purpose on a regular basis, and make sure you eat, sleep, work, and exercise in a thoughtful and balanced way. Look for help when you need it, and tune into what you truly need, not based on what others tell you but based on your own powerful intuition coupled with your newfound knowledge. Do something to connect to your deeper power—to honor your higher nature—on a regular and consistent basis. Keep exploring your existence; be a ‘yogi scientist’ . . . we fully intend this book to change your life.”
*A big shout out to my good friend Vish. With the help of his first yoga teacher and friend, Yogrishi Vishvketu, he reduced a massive body of Eastern wisdom into a usable guide for the Western business world. BCY’s launching November 5th. 20 years of successful rough and tumble experience in the automotive and tech world combined with a dedicated yoga and Ayurveda practice led Vish to devote himself to Head and Heart Insights — ”helping you find your way.”
Sunday Morning Reflection
Be a yogi-scientist. Where are you in balance? Out of balance? What changes will help? if you listen closely, your intuition will tell you. And, BCY is a handy companion.
Sunday Morning: 132